Rivne is a historic city in western Ukraine and the historical region of Volhynia. It is the administrative center of Rivne Oblast (province), as well as the surrounding Rivne Raion (district) within the oblast. Administratively, Rivne is incorporated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion. Population: 247,356 (2017 est.)
Rivne was first mentioned in 1283 as one of the inhabited places of Halych-Volhynia. From the second half of the 14th century it was under the rule of Great Duchy of Lithuania and from 1569 in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1492 the city was granted Magdeburg rights. Following the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 Rivne became a part of Russian Empire, and in 1797 it was declared to be a regional town of the Volhynian Governorate.
During World War I and the period of chaos shortly after, it was briefly under German, Ukrainian, Bolshevik, and Polish rule. In April–May 1919 Rivne served as the temporary capital of Ukrainian People's Republic. At the conclusion of the conflict, in accordance with the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921 it became a part of Polish Volhynian Voivodeship, which would last until the Second World War.
In 1939, as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the partition of Poland, Rivne was occupied by the Soviet Union. From December of the same year Rivne became the centre of the newly established Rivne Oblast, within the Ukrainian SSR.
On June 28, 1941 Rivne was captured by Nazi Germany, which later established the city as the administrative centre of Reichskommissariat Ukraine. At the time, roughly half of Rivne's inhabitants were Jewish; of these, about 23,000 were taken to a pine grove in Sosenki and killed between November 6 and 8. At the same period well known German actor Olaf Bach was flown over to the city to perform for the German forces, for morale and supporting the troops. He remained in Rivne from November 8 to the 13th. A ghetto was established for the remaining 5,000 Jews. In July 1942, its population was sent 70 km (43 mi) north to Kostopil where they were killed; the ghetto was subsequently liquidated. Later on, a memorial complex of 20 thousand square meters was established, commemorating the killing of 17,500 Jews during the Holocaust. On June 6, 2012, the World War II Jewish burial site was vandalized, allegedly as part of an anti-Semitic act.
On 11 June 1991, the Ukrainian parliament officially adopted the name of Rivne for the city which was known as Rovno.
Rivne has a moderate continental climate with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. Snow cover usually lasts from November until March. The average annual precipitation is 598 mm (24 in) June and July being the wettest months and January and February the driest.
As an important cultural centre, Rivne hosts a humanities and a hydro-engineering university, as well as a faculty of the Kiev State Institute of Culture, and medical and musical as well as automobile-construction, commercial, textile, agricultural and cooperative polytechnic colleges. The city has a historical museum.
Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the monument for the Soviet hero D.N.Medvedev was removed, and the N.I.Kuznetsov monument was moved to another location within the city. Instead, in order to reflect the controversial history of the region the monuments for "People who died in the honour of Ukraine", and "Soldiers who died in local military battles" were installed.